Europe's leftist reporters are as bad as the NYT

One of the world's oldest and largest news agencies, Paris—headquartered AFP, has treated us to a textbook example of journalistic deceptiveness. The last two paragraphs in a story about the execution of Clarence Allen in California read as follows:

Polls show that while most Americans still support capital punishment, the margin is dwindling.

A survey conducted late last year by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press showed that 62 percent of Americans were in favour of executing convicted murderers, while 30 percent were against.

The wording of the story's penultimate paragraph creates the impression of a closely contested issue with opposition to the death penalty gaining momentum. But when you carefully look at the actual numbers, you realize that the American public is in fact overwhelming in favor of capital punishment — by a two—to—one margin. If this were a political race it would be a landslide. In his rout of Walter Mondale in 1984, Ronald Reagan's margin of victory was appreciably smaller than this.

Would it not be far more accurate for that penultimate paragraph to read:

'While there are some who oppose capital punishment, the overwhelming majority of Americans are in favour of it.'

What we have here is a distortion of facts through deceptive language to fit a pre—existing ideological agenda. Leftist journalists — whether in America or Europe — not only share the same frame of mind, but apparently also consult the same handbook for their tricks. It serves them well that in America they cannot get away with it as easily as they could even a decade ago.

In Europe, I'm sorry to observe, ideological hacks posing as reporters have a much easier time, since the general public is not as media astute as in the US even though they like to think otherwise.

Vasko Kohlmayer  1 18 06

One of the world's oldest and largest news agencies, Paris—headquartered AFP, has treated us to a textbook example of journalistic deceptiveness. The last two paragraphs in a story about the execution of Clarence Allen in California read as follows:

Polls show that while most Americans still support capital punishment, the margin is dwindling.

A survey conducted late last year by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press showed that 62 percent of Americans were in favour of executing convicted murderers, while 30 percent were against.

The wording of the story's penultimate paragraph creates the impression of a closely contested issue with opposition to the death penalty gaining momentum. But when you carefully look at the actual numbers, you realize that the American public is in fact overwhelming in favor of capital punishment — by a two—to—one margin. If this were a political race it would be a landslide. In his rout of Walter Mondale in 1984, Ronald Reagan's margin of victory was appreciably smaller than this.

Would it not be far more accurate for that penultimate paragraph to read:

'While there are some who oppose capital punishment, the overwhelming majority of Americans are in favour of it.'

What we have here is a distortion of facts through deceptive language to fit a pre—existing ideological agenda. Leftist journalists — whether in America or Europe — not only share the same frame of mind, but apparently also consult the same handbook for their tricks. It serves them well that in America they cannot get away with it as easily as they could even a decade ago.

In Europe, I'm sorry to observe, ideological hacks posing as reporters have a much easier time, since the general public is not as media astute as in the US even though they like to think otherwise.

Vasko Kohlmayer  1 18 06